The Future of Gaming Masters

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by IAmNomad, 5 May 2008.

  1. IAmNomad Ex-Leader

    The Future of Gaming Masters

    Greetings, all.

    I am starting this new topic because, after looking back over much of the forum, this subject has popped up a few times in different places. I would like to start a discussion about the direction of the clan here. (Sorry if this first post is a bit long-winded.)

    First, let me say that I think the clan leaders have done a remarkable job to-date. Between the community website and the game servers, they have put a great deal of effort and creativity into providing a highly enjoyable experience for casual and serious TF2 gamers. Well done! I feel truly honored to be a part of Gaming Masters and to be able to rub shoulders with such dedicated folk.

    I just think some serious thought needs to be given to what the next steps are for this group. Not that serious thought hasn't been already given -- I can see from certain posts by the leaders that they have some ideas. The "About Us" section of the website index states, "With growth comes expansion and we here at Gaming Masters are always looking towards the future. We hope to buy another dedicated server to effectively triple our current number of TF2 servers in the not too distant future." Given the rapid changes just since March, it is clear that the future will be arriving post-haste.

    It is also clear from various postings that there is a variety of opinion about that future, and as members, I think we owe it to ourselves to contribute our own ideas to build a cohesive view of what GM is ultimately about.

    Is GM about its servers? The servers are crucial. There isn't much of a clan without them, but I think they are safe. I've read a lot about the past issues (i.e., Spitfire, and having enough funds) to see that the clan leaders are on top of it. And the community feels so strong that I can't believe people would let the support for the servers falter.

    What about gameplay? Most clans are built around a small group of dedicated players who, due to mutual admiration, have decided to form a group that helps them hone one another's skills and build a competitive team. GM seems less like the traditional clan in this respect. I point to my own experience: I was a noob, playing on random servers the first week after getting the game. I stumbled onto the GL server and some Core dude kept saying "hello" and inviting me to join games (It was very confusing and distracting :lol: ). I had a lot of questions, and this odd, little Core fellow was exceptionally helpful (I was so used to getting flamed for asking about anything anywhere else). Then I was somewhat dumbfounded when he invited me to the clan. I certainly wasn't a spectacular player, but I guess Core sensed that I was interested in being a better player and I wasn't a loon or anything, so I said yes (I discovered why he was so nice to me when, later that day, he stabbed me in the back :lol: )

    So, to me, GM is more about the players, and not so much about the skill of the players. Which is a great place to start -- you can't have a community full of loons, or else you'll end up with a loony bin! :D And it's been a great strategy so far. Most members contribute in some way, either by serving as admins, or donating funds, or just being active in the forum and in games. This is what community is about, I think; it's about people doing their share of the work and also taking part in the fun.

    But where does it end? I mean, where does the community-growing take a backseat to community-BUILDING? Waebi posted on May 4, saying, "we are about 35, and I bet my ass, end of this month we will be 40. 40 players, everyone of them with his own way to play, with his own skills and his own favourite class/es. We are not longer a "clan", we are a community." And Protantus wrote, "I am not in favour of this. We are a small clan, and I believe that give us our community spirit - it is what make us different. We have some excellent players, and I believe that we all have the possibililty to improve (I know I have). So let the clan rankings decide the A-team, Core/Dark pick and others volunteer as required to fill the gaps. If you are playing our servers and are getting u're ass kicked, enjoy it and get better." Yet, the philosophy of the clan seems to be something different. On the home page of the clan website, Core says, "If you manage to frag one of us we may even salute you and ask you to join our clan." That does show a wide-ranging view of where we are as a clan/community, does it not?

    So, first, I think we need to define ourselves as a group, and come up with some sort of mission statement that we can all agree on. We need to define how large the group is or should be, and set limits and criteria for membership.

    We need to decide if there will be sub-groups within GM, as many have suggested, and as Core as said he intended all along. But that is probably a whole other topic, considering the controversy that might create (see 'SUP atm? topic). Will there be training matches? Will a server be dedicated to clan matches that only "pro" players can join? Anyone care to start that thread?

    Whatever we do, though, I hope we do it together, and in the civil manner that has been one of the great hallmarks of GM all along. Truly, this manner is reflective of the clan leaders, who are top-notch people in their own right. They have recognized good qualities in the people they've invited to join, so we have that going for us. None of these subjects should lead to the kind of ugliness that has caused so much distress in the past.

    So, in this topic, lets have some good discussion on some of these points, and I thank you for your time.

    I Am Nomad
  2. Re: The Future of Gaming Masters

    1055 words later, I'm speechless. I have never seen such a long post in all my years of hanging around on forums. :o

    Anyway I'll have a go at writing a long post...

    I am in complete agreement with everything you said - we need to do something about our rising number of members before we become a community which is something we definitely don't want. The larger we get, the less professional we look; therefore less matches, which defeats the purpose of joining a clan in the first place: clan matches.

    As I'm sure Core, KennethJ and Waebi will agree (source: 'SUP atm? topic), we are strongly against the idea of splitting up the clan into multiple squads. Even having a single 'pro' team is going too far; in the words of Core, "It will cause envy, hatred and disgust."

    I believe the only practical answer is to weed out the non-dedicated players. It's the only fair way to do it - we all have roughly the same ability in TF2 (according to HLStatsX), with the exception of Mextor who is several times better than any of us :P) so we can't go on HLStats scores. We also can't have one competition to decide - anyone can get "lucky" and make several kills and get to the top of the scoreboard instantly. No, I think what we need to do is get rid of anyone that hasn't really gone out of their way to do something for GM.

    [strike:39aejote]I've always liked lists, so here we go - everyone listed here is definitely going to stay in GM. And sorry if I've left anyone out - I'm working from memory here :P[/strike:39aejote]

    • [strike:39aejote]Core - Original founder, set up servers, designed logo which is now used for the community +[/strike:39aejote]cafepress store[/*:m:39aejote]
    • [strike:39aejote]Darkimmortal - Spent easily over 40-50 hours working on the site, forums, hlstats and dedicated server. Also created awesome new MOTD and spent an hour or so in photoshop to get the cafepress store up and running. And I'm the one with all the donations sitting in my paypal... ;) :lol:[/strike:39aejote][/*:m:39aejote]
    • [strike:39aejote]EyeAmNomad - Your massive post above, lol + huge donation[/strike:39aejote][/*:m:39aejote]
    • [strike:39aejote]t3rribl3on3 - Original site design, possible monthly donation, frag video, original logo design[/strike:39aejote][/*:m:39aejote]
    • [strike:39aejote]Protantus - Huge donation, promise of more, excellent contribution to dedicated server decisions and discussion[/strike:39aejote][/*:m:39aejote]
    • [strike:39aejote]Waebi - can't think of the reason off hand, but your name keeps popping into my head[/strike:39aejote][/*:m:39aejote]
    • [strike:39aejote]Bluepanther - he's my brother and obviously being able to chat via voice with 0 latency (we play in the same room :lol:) is a huge asset when playing heavy/medic etc.[/strike:39aejote][/*:m:39aejote]
    • [strike:39aejote]Bun - Been a member since the start + plays well[/strike:39aejote][/*:m:39aejote]
    • [strike:39aejote]Z3ro.NL - see waebi[/strike:39aejote][/*:m:39aejote]

    [strike:39aejote]There's definitely more to be added to that list - if you would like to be added to it, please reply with your reason. :)[/strike:39aejote]

    EDIT: Damn, only 477 words :(
  3. Bun

    Re: The Future of Gaming Masters

    I think I should be added, I been in GM since the begining. D:
  4. IAmNomad Ex-Leader

    Re: The Future of Gaming Masters

    Sorry, it was a school assignment. I had to write an internet forum post of at least 1,000 words. I used you all to get an A. :P

    So, here we have the start of a definition of ourselves -- a definition of Gaming Masters:
    What does everyone think about that?

    I'll offer an opinion: membership requests are going to start coming in exponentially. The servers are plentiful and reliable, and word of mouth is spreading. There must be a set criteria for membership. You like lists? Okay.
    To be a recruit, one should:
    • ~ Have at least X hours of total gameplay (25?)
    • ~ Have at least X hours of gameplay on GM servers (15?)
    • ~ Have at least X hours of gameplay of each class (1?)
    • ~ Be registered on the GM website
    • ~ Not have any complaints about them from full members, regarding breaking of rules, cheating, etc.
    To be a full member, one should:
    • ~ Be a recruit for at least X days (real days, not game days)(10?)
    • ~ Have at least X hours of gameplay while a recruit (10? That's one hour a day, which seems reasonable -- SOME of us have LIVES :D )
    • ~ Have at least 10 posts in the GM forum (to show they are active, contributing members of the community)
    • and finally,
    • ~ Be approved by a majority of full members by a vote on the website

    Dark, you said you wanted to weed out the non-dedicated players, which I wholeheartedly agree with, but I'm wary about making lists of people, because of that whole "hate and discontent" thing it would engender in people who aren't on it. It might not be a bad idea, though, to review each member's involvement and participation. If it appears that a particular member has "dropped off the radar," (thanks for inventing that, btw, brits) he or she could be contacted to see if he or she is really interested in staying in. If they don't respond, or don't seem interested, kick. I just don't think it's a good idea to kick people indiscriminately (AHEM -- CORE -- I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now. Even though you broke my heart and KICKED ME) (Core kicked me once. He said it was an accident. :roll: ).
    I will gladly volunteer to do the checking and contacting for this.

    You should have quoted my post. With the additional 1,055 words, you would have beaten me handily! :lol:

    I Am Nomad
  5. Re: The Future of Gaming Masters

    OK, screw the list for now :lol: It didn't turn out the way I expected it to :(

    That is an awesome idea. At the moment, we are generally not taking recruitment requests seriously and just accepting anyone that applies after a week or so without ever seeing them play or testing them properly. I think each recruit needs to be involved in a serious match between us so we can see them play properly.

    And one last thing: A couple of additions to the Full Member requirements:

    ~ Have teamspeak installed and working, and be prepared to use it when requested

    ~ Send all required information to me or Core for inserting into the member database
  6. Re: The Future of Gaming Masters

    great idea :!:
    Love it!
  7. Re: The Future of Gaming Masters

    I don't want new players to be measured at us on top, but still, before joining anything, you should at least have 20h played your "favorite" class.

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